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Washable diapers - the different systems

by Jeffrey Scholten on May 10, 2020

Washable diapers - the different systems

If you are orientating on washable diapers, you can quickly get lost because of all the different washable diaper systems, brands and well-meant advice. What is a good system and what are the advantages and disadvantages of these different systems? We try to take you into the world of washable diapers by starting with a brief explanation of the different types of washable diapers available.


Pocket diapers

A pocket diaper is a washable diaper with a waterproof exterior and a soft interior made of, for example, fleece, suede or cotton. In the inside of the pocket diaper is a "pocket" in which you can put the inserts. We will explain more about the differences and the advantages and disadvantages of different inserts. Most pocket diapers are adjustable in size with press studs, making them theoretically usable from birth to toilet training. In practice, most pocket diapers are still large for newborn babies. From 3 months the fit is already a lot better.

The pocket diaper has a quick drying time, because the inserts are not attached in the diaper. An advantage is that you can experiment yourself which combination of inserts works best for you. Especially in the beginning this is often a bit of a search. So don't give up too quickly! A pocket diaper is easy to change and very popular with the babysitter and grandfather and grandmother.

Pocket diapers are available from different brands. The pocket diaper of HappyBear for example, has double drip channels, which greatly reduces the chance of leakage. If your child is not so good at synthetic fibers, then the pocket diaper is Bamboo lickwith an organic cotton interior a good option.

Although pocket diapers are suitable from birth to toilet training, we see that many parents quickly switch to a two-part system when the children get older and urinate more. The pocket diapers are also less suitable for older children at night, because they often cannot absorb sufficiently. There are also plenty of parents who swear by pocket diapers and manage well with the right combination of inserts.

 Fast drying time
Easy to change
Absorbency can be adjusted by using different inserts
One Size - adjustable in size


Extra work in preparation (putting inlays in the pocket diaper)
 Lower absorbency
Less suitable for large puddles and as a night diaper

All-In-One diapers

The All-In-One diaper resembles a disposable diaper the most. With an All-In-One washable diaper, the inserts are already sewn into the diaper in waterproof pants. You can immediately change the diaper without the hassle of pants or inserts. Most washable diapers have a Velcro closure, such as the Bambino Mio miosoloor TotsBots Easyfit diapers.

Because the inserts are sewn into the diaper, the drying time of an AIO diaper is longer than, for example, with the pocket diaper, but shorter than a two-piece diaper system. The All-In-One diaper is a relatively more expensive diaper, but ideal to start with washable diapers or for the babysitter. The AIO diapers are unfortunately not always suitable for the nights and are more sensitive to leaks at the groin if you wait too long to change.

 Easy to change thanks to Velcro closure
Handy for the babysitter or grandfather and grandmother
Complete diaper - the inserts are already sewn into the diaper
One Size - adjustable in size

Longer drying time
Higher purchase price
Less suitable as a night diaper


All-In-Two / Snap-In-One diapers

The All-In-Two and Snap-In-One diapers, abbreviated AI2 or SIO, consist of a loose waterproof cover and loose inserts or prefolds. These diapers are very slim and are therefore also very suitable for newborn babies. 

In the waterproof pants like the TotsBots PeeNut wrapclick the separate inserts. After changing, you only have to change the inserts and you can reuse the coverings several times. For newborns there is a one-size adjustable size pants in combination with a prefold insertvery suitable. The drying time of AIO / AI2 diapers is very short, just like the pocket diaper, but they are less suitable for older children, because the inserts cannot absorb sufficiently with larger puddles.

Slim fit and also suitable for newborns
Overpants can be used several times
Fast drying time

Less leak proof for older children compared to two piece diapers
Extra work with inserts


Two-piece system

The most leak-proof diaper is it two-piece diaper system. And that is also very logical. The diaper consists of two parts. You use a bamboo diaper like the LittleLamb bamboo diaperor the TotsBots Bamboozle Stretchalong with a separate waterproof bottom.

Each brand has its own overpants with its own unique features. The overpantsfrom Petit Lulu are adjustable in size and have a fleece edge, which reduces the risk of stretch marks. The Wraps from TotsBots and LittleLamb are available in multiple sizes, making the fit better than the one size pants. These diapers can absorb much more because they are made entirely of bamboo, cotton or a mix of different fabrics. A disadvantage is that you do have extra work with changing it. The drying time is much longer than other diapers, but the chance of leakage is really minimal. A two-piece diaper is often a "thicker suit" around the buttocks. A big advantage is that the overpants do not have to be replaced during every change. You can reuse it 3 to 5 times.

 Minimal chance of leakage
Good fit
Also suitable for the night
Overpants can be used several times

 More work while changing
 Long drying time
Need separate cover


Night diapers

For older children and large pee, one night diaper the ideal washable diaper to get through the night dry. Over a night diaper should be a waterproof (Pull-Up) coveror a wool pants. In comparison to a two-piece diaper system, the night diapers are much thicker, because they consist of several layers of fabric and possibly additional inserts. The most popular night diaper is the HappyBear bamboo night diaper which can absorb at least 800ml and the Anavyand Petit Lulu night diapers. A disadvantage is the long drying time of sometimes 24 to 48 hours. The night diapers can also be used during the day. Most night diapers, such as HappyBear's, come with loose inserts that you don't need during the day, making the diaper less thick.


Leak-proof and suitable for large puddles
 Can also be used during the day

Very thick around the buttocks
Long drying time
Separate pants or wool pants needed


Diaper consultation

Do you still have doubts about washable diapers and do you want to see, fit and feel the different diapers? Feel free to contact us for a free and no-obligation consultation. We are happy to advise you on all the differences and advantages of washable diapers. You can do this by phone, via chat, but also personally with us in Hengelo.


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